Freeze Frame: “The French Dispatch” (R), “Last Night in Soho” (R), “Antlers” (R)

Eccentric filmmaker Wes Anderson’s latest exercise in quirkiness, “The French Dispatch,” is a lightweight but eye-popping homage to personal journalism, especially a nod to the writers and editors of The New Yorker. An all-star cast is featured in an anthology of three stories from a fictional news magazine’s final issue. Although it’s wildly imaginative and employs spectacular art direction, “The French Dispatch” will probably only appeal to an audience already attuned to Anderson’s offbeat aesthetic. One could argue that it’s an example of style over substance, but “The French Dispatch” still has its oddball charms.


“Last Night in Soho” is yet another visually arresting film with an almost schizophrenic tone. It starts out as an ethereal fantasy and morphs into a full-blown horror film. Tomasin McKinzie stars as Ellie, a young fashion student who has dreams of an alter-ego named Sandie who exists in London’s Mod 60s scene. This free-spirited lass, played by Anya Taylor Joy, becomes Ellie’s artistic muse. However, things go very wrong as those dreams become nightmares that affect Ellie’s waking life. Is she crazy, or are supernatural events unfolding? These two young actresses are among the best working today and they’re each terrific. You’ve got to give filmmaker Edgar Wright a lot of credit for his style and vision, even though the final act becomes repetitive and conventional. Still, “Last Night in Soho” is an involving experiment in genre-mixing.


Keri Russell and Jesse Plemmons star in the bleak, one-note horror film “Antlers,” inspired by the legend of the Wendigo, an evil mythological creature from Native American folklore. It’s plenty creepy and has a few effective moments, but ultimately “Antlers” is more dreary than it is scary.

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